In the United States, over 90 percent of adults will develop tooth decay to some degree. While statistics are showing some improvement with children’s oral health, tooth decay affects approximately 40 percent of kids between the ages of two and 19.
Preventing cavities, gum disease and tooth decay can be achieved with proper oral hygiene. This includes brushing, flossing and attending regular visits with a dentist or orthodontist.
Diet also plays a big part in oral health. We need certain vitamins and minerals in order to keep our teeth strong and healthy. Let’s talk a bit more about the vitamins and minerals that we need to have in our diets.
You can keep your teeth strong and healthy by getting enough calcium in your diet. If you aren’t getting enough calcium, your body can actually take some from your bones and teeth.
Calcium-rich foods include dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese. Green vegetables and soy products are also high in calcium. There are also cereals that are fortified with calcium.
This is one of the most important vitamins to add to your diet if you don’t think you’re getting enough. Your body can’t properly absorb calcium if you’re not getting enough vitamin D. It also helps with your immune function and bone health. Vitamin D can naturally be acquired through 15 minutes in the sun each day, or you can opt for fortified orange juice, fatty fish and milk.
The majority of phosphorus that we consume will go straight to our teeth. This is another mineral that plays a big part in calcium absorption. It can also help repair tooth enamel. You can find phosphorus in plant-based foods like lentils, nuts, meat, eggs, seeds, soybeans and dried fruit.
Iron is used by the body to maintain a healthy level of red blood cells. When you have adequate red blood cells, your body will fight against infection and diseases. If you have a low functioning immune system, you’re at a higher risk of developing gum disease and tooth decay. Look for iron in fortified cereals, bread, green vegetables, red meat and eggs.
All the B vitamins should be part of a regular diet. This can help treat and prevent mouth sores and bad breath. You can get B vitamins naturally from spinach, leafy green, almonds and dairy products.
While it’s also good for the eyes, vitamin A can help the body clean out bacteria from the mouth. It can also promote adequate saliva, which would flush out food particles from the mouth. Add in some oranges, leafy greens, dairy, poultry, eggs and red meat to your diet.
Vitamin C has the ability to perk up the blood vessels in your body that support your oral health. It can also boost your immune system. If you’re low on vitamin C, you may notice that you are more prone to bleeding gums and inflammation in your mouth. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best source of vitamin C.
You can boost your bone mineral density and teeth density by increasing potassium through bananas, prunes, avocados and lima beans.
It may seem like a lot to process, but these vitamins and minerals will come naturally to your family when you’re eating a healthy diet. You can mix and match all kinds of different foods to get the results that you want. If you aren’t confident yourself or your kids are getting enough of a certain vitamin or mineral, a supplement can help round out a nutrition profile.
Contact Creed Orthodontics for more information on Orthodontics for children, teens and adults.
When you are wearing braces, be aware that they do not mix well with sweets. Besides the problem of sticky candy getting caught in your teeth and being very hard to remove, hard candies can damage them. Since most people enjoy eating lots of candy and sweets around the holidays, it is also the time when most braces get broken.
This means that you need to be extra cautious about how much of the sweet stuff you consume during the holidays. Sweets are often frequently seen and enjoyed between Halloween and New Year’s Day. Here are some guidelines that can help you to decide what to eat – and what to avoid.
1. Avoid eating too many sweets. Even though everyone loves sweets, including people wearing braces, you need to be careful to limit how much you eat. The sugar will stick to your teeth and increase your risk of cavities. Keeping your teeth and braces clean and free of sugar is already hard enough.
2. Stay away from sweets that are hard or sticky because they will stick to your braces – no popcorn balls. Apples can easily damage your braces. Only eat them if they are cut into small pieces. Sticky foods will make it more difficult to clean your teeth and you may break a wire while doing so. Hard or crunchy sweets can break your braces or bend the wires. When that happens, it will take time to get to a dentist and it may set your treatment time back.
3. When you do eat sweets, the best and easiest kind to clean from your teeth and braces are soft ones. This includes ones with chocolate, which will quickly melt; but avoid them if they contain caramel. Other candies may be hard, but they will melt if you can avoid biting and chewing on them.
Soft foods that will melt rather quickly include a wide variety of sweets. In that group, you will find ice cream, shakes, smoothies, apple cider, root beer floats, Jell-o, peanut butter cups, cake, bananas, pudding, and more.
4. Be careful when consuming acidic foods. Foods that contain acids in them will promote tooth decay and cavities because the acid in them helps erode your tooth enamel. Acidic foods and drinks include orange juice, specialty coffees and teas, citrus juices, wine, and sodas. Not only do they contain acid, but they also have a lot of sugar in them. Rinsing your mouth out with water will help remove the acid.
After eating sweets or acidic foods, it is important to rinse your mouth out with water. Follow this with cleaning your teeth to remove all the sugar and excess food particles. You also need to do this shortly after eating the sweets because the bacteria that cause cavities feed on sugar and carbohydrates.
When you are tempted to eat sweets the next time, think about how beautiful your teeth could look when the orthodontic treatment is completed. You or your parents want you to have great looking teeth, which is why you are wearing the braces in the first place. Having cavities will not make them look good.
Sweets can seriously damage your teeth over the long run because of the sugar in them. Keeping your teeth looking good for when the braces finally do come off is important, and sweets will not help you obtain beautiful teeth. Think also about all the time you have already had to put in to keep your teeth clean.
Getting your teeth straight and looking beautiful takes time but you will be glad when you see the results. Creed Orthodontics in Cypress, Texas can help you get the straight teeth you want for a beautiful smile. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Most people require braces to obtain perfectly straight teeth. Unfortunately, there is not a pill to make the teeth straighten overnight. People often need specific orthodontic care to get their best smile and bite.
However, sometimes wearing braces can affect the way you eat. Eating might feel difficult when you first get braces. It’s important to be aware of the kind of food you are eating, not just for your health but also because certain foods can also dislodge the brackets. Don’t worry! The summer doesn’t have to be lacking in fun and tasty treats for those who are trying to get a great smile.
That’s why we created a list of great recipes that are perfect for people who are wearing braces.
Summer is the perfect time for lemonade. If you have been out in the sun playing sports or just enjoying the beautiful weather, lemonade is the perfect way to cool off and feel refreshed. For a refreshing lemonade, try this recipe!
- 1 fresh lemon
- ½ cup fresh mint leaves
- 1 ¼ cups white sugar
- 1 (12 ounces) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
The first step to refreshment with this delicious lemonade recipe is to pour the lemonade concentrate into a cooler or a pitcher. Use enough water for a gallon of lemonade. Grade the lemon to create some zest and add it into the pitcher. Then simply squeeze the lemon juice into the pitcher or cooler. Once you’re done with that, crush the mint leaves by using a wooden spoon or muddler and add it to the sugar. Then add the sugar and crushed mint into the pitcher to cool for several hours. Once it has been chilled, strain the leaves and zest prior to serving.
You can garnish this refreshment with a sprig of mint over ice for the perfect summer recipe.
Pasta Fredda is perfect for vegetable lovers and pasta lovers alike. With olives, basil, and tomatoes, you’ll be getting a great dose of nutrition alongside a tasty meal.
- 1 (8 ounces) package farfalle (bow tie) pasta
- 7 ounces bocconcini (small balls of fresh mozzarella cheese)
- 20 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 ½ teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
- 6 fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¾ cup black olives
Bring a large pot to a boil after adding salt. Cook the pasta at a boil while occasionally stirring to keep it from sticking to the pot. Cook the pasta until it is al dente, after about twelve minutes in the boiling water. Drain it and let it cool to room temperature.
Combine the basil, oregano, olives, bocconcini, tomatoes, and olive oil in a large bowl and toss it to allow the herbs to evenly coat the vegetables. Add the pasta and toss the entire bowl. Enjoy!
Chicken enchiladas are a perfect way to spice up your routine over the summer, especially for those who are wearing braces.
- 1 ½ cups cubed cooked chicken breast meat
- 6 (12 inch) flour tortillas
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles
- ½ cup chopped green onions
- 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet lightly. While the oven is warming, use a medium saucepan, with the added butter, over medium heat to saute the onion until it is tender. Add the garlic powder and stir in the cream of mushroom soup and sour cream. Add the green chiles. Mix well and keep ¾ of the sauce for the side. Use the remaining sauce to add to the chicken and cheddar cheese.
Fill the flour tortillas with the mixture of chicken and roll them up. Spoon the sauce over the tortillas and top with the remaining half cup of cheese. Bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes.
Thanksgiving dinner is just around the corner, so it is time to get excited about all of your favorite dishes and desserts. Before you sit down to a delicious meal, remember to pick foods that are safe for your braces. Thankfully, most of the Thanksgiving dishes will be perfectly fine for braces and orthodontic appliances.
Most Thanksgiving dinners have turkey as the main course. Luckily, you can enjoy your turkey in style. You only have to make a few changes to the turkey to make it work for your braces. Make sure to take the meat off of the bone and cut it into smaller pieces before you eat it. The same method works for ham if you would rather skip out on turkey this year.
The majority of vegetables on your table will be fine for your braces. Remember to be cautious with corn on the cob. Before you eat it, you will need to cut the kernels off of the cob first.
Soft casseroles are a braces-friendly option for your Thanksgiving dinner. Whether you want a green bean casserole or something a little more exciting, a casserole is a safe bet.
Stuffing and dressing are classic staples. In most cases, the stuffing will be perfectly fine to eat with braces. Before you take a huge bite, make sure that it does not contain any crunchy foods or nuts.
Sweet Potatoes and Yam
This is another traditional dish that is a delicious part of Thanksgiving dinner. Thankfully, the smooth texture makes this dish easy for anyone wearing braces.
Whenever you mash something up, it will generally be safe for braces. Mashed potatoes and gravy are a perfect dish if you wear braces, so make sure to add them to your Thanksgiving dinner.
Dinner Rolls and Muffins
From basic rolls to cornbread muffins, most Thanksgiving dinners include some type of bread dish. Luckily, you can eat as many of these as you want without worrying about your braces.
In most cases, pumpkin pie will be perfectly fine for your braces. Pumpkins are loaded with minerals and vitamins that are amazing for your dental health. To make sure that the pumpkin pie will not be a problem, stick to softer crusts.
Jello, Mousse and Pudding
If you are dining on pudding or mousse, it should be completely safe for your braces. You should just make sure that there are not any crunchy ingredients or nuts added to the dish. If you recently started wearing braces, a cold pudding can help relieve the irritation and pain.
This Thanksgiving, you have a new reason to be thankful. In most cases, traditional dishes will be perfectly fine for your braces. You can enjoy a delicious dinner with your family while your braces work their magic.